*Captain Ronan O’Connor and goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan with Marty Morrissey. Photograph: Joe Buckley

ST JOSEPH’S TULLA’S Harty Cup heroes have been hailed for bringing pride to Co Clare.

On February 5th, the East Clare school created history by winning the Dr Harty Cup for the first time overcoming hot favourites Ard Scoil Rís by three points in the decider. Captained by Feakle’s Ronan O’Connor, the side had also recorded the school’s first ever win in the competition earlier in the campaign while also progressing to their first semi-final.

Last Friday, RTÉ broadcaster Marty Morrissey joined the ‘Harty Party’ in Tulla with a celebration event held in honour of the victorious side to cap off a week-long period whereby their achievements were lauded.

“You’ve brought pride to our county,” Quilty’s Morrissey said when addressing the entire school with the panel of players behind him on stage. “As a Clare man, I want to thank this team and school, what you’ve done is more than just win a cup and win a Munster title, this is what a school dreams about, of aspiring to, all of you have an education and learn whatever your ambitions are in life but what you have above else is a sense of belonging to a community, you are from Clare, you are from East Clare but it doesn’t matter what part of Clare it is because you are Clare, that’s part of the community, you’re not just from Tulla, Broadford, the Mills, Crusheen or Clooney/Quin but St Joseph’s school in Tulla, isn’t that a wonderful thing the school has done for this group of players to bring a whole party together”.

(All photographs by Joe Buckley)

Whatever paths the panel of players follow, they will always be connected by becoming the first St Joseph’s Tulla team to win the prestigious post-primary hurling competition, Marty stated. “This team, management and all of ye should be so proud of what you’ve done because this is a first, nobody is ever going to be the first team to ever do it but you. This team are history makers, in years to come, when Darragh (Keogh), Ronan (O’Connor) or Aaron (Shanahan) whether they are in Australia, Dublin, New York, Cork, Galway or Ennis, wherever we end up there will be one thing that binds them together and that is that they brought the Harty Cup to this school, this county and became only the third school to achieve that, it is remarkable”.

Clare County Council are to write to the school in lieu of their achievement following a proposal by Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) on Monday. Notably, the feat of St Flannan’s College in winning the Harty Cup in 2020 was not acknowledged by the Council.

Speaking in the Council Chamber, Cllr Cooney lauded the Tulla management, players, school and catchment clubs for their achievement. The former Chairman of Clare GAA asked that the local authority write to the school to congratulate them on their success. “It is a huge achievement,” Cllr Pat Burke (FG) commented in backing the request.

Clare’s first citizen, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) who has two grand-children in the school admitted that they were pressurising him to make sure the Harty Cup success was marked by the Council. An event to celebrate Tulla’s breakthrough is worthy for “wonderful kids,” Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) believed.

A winner of a Dean Ryan with St Flannan’s College in 1973, Cllr Pat Daly (FF) told Monday’s meeting he was “delighted” for Tulla. “There is no harm to have a bit of competition in the county,” the Ennis native quipped.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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